Saginaw Valley State University is adapting its curriculum to more effectively meet the needs of nurses who are seeking to further their education. This fall, SVSU will expand its academic program for registered nurses seeking a bachelor's degree in nursing, making it better suit the lifestyles of the adult professionals enrolled in the RN (registered nurse) to BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) program.
“We asked registered nurses who are already in our program what changes might be recommended by their colleagues not enrolled in our program,” said Karen Brown-Fackler, chair of SVSU's Department of Nursing.
“We wanted to see what we should change to convince RNs to enroll.”
In response to that survey, SVSU added elements to the academic program that Brown-Fackler and her colleagues believe will entice nurses once hesitant to embark on an academic endeavor while simultaneously working a full-time job in the field.
The changes include the following:
Brown-Fackler said the adjustments create a more flexible program for nurses who are busy people. Both she and Deborah Gibson, SVSU's RN to BSN program coordinator, say the adjusted program is better fit for a schedule that sometimes makes it challenging to tackle academic demands during traditional classroom hours.
“Nurses are often working full time and have families,” Gibson said. “This new program makes it easier for them to get a bachelor's degree.”
Brown-Fackler said the online courses are designed to be engaging. While those courses don't require visiting campus, students will enjoy a supportive connection with SVSU faculty, as well as a dedicated adviser.
“We make our online courses very interesting,” Brown-Fackler said. “A lot of our faculty record their lectures, so students aren't just reading books assigned to them. They're interacting and learning with the faculty.”
SVSU created its RN to BSN program more than a decade ago in response to a growing trend in the medical field to require registered nurses to earn bachelor's degrees.